5 Reasons to Change Beneficiaries and Modify a California Estate Plan

When thinking about whether or not it is time to modify your Orange County estate plan, do not forget to consider your retirement assets. Often, these assets are a substantial portion of an estate.  There are many situations that could give rise to an opportunity to update the beneficiary designation on a retirement account. The following is a list of five of the more common scenarios:

  1. Children, who were previously minors, may now be adults and can be named outright as beneficiaries of retirement accounts.
  2. You previously created a trust designed to minimize your estate’s federal estate-tax burden. Since the laws have changed, you may no longer have an estate that is large enough to trigger a tax. As a result, it may be simpler and easier to name an individual outright as beneficiary rather than a trust.
  3. You previously had a basic estate plan that did not include a trust, and now you want to name a trust as a beneficiary.
  4. You did not have children when you created an estate plan, but you do not want to name them beneficiaries of the retirement account because they are minors. Instead, you might consider using a trust.
  5. You have either married or divorced since the time that you originally created the estate plan. It is vital that you update your beneficiary designations to accurately reflect these changes. 

These are just five of the many reasons why it may be time to modify your California estate plan to address your retirement assets. These accounts are unique and require the knowledge of an experienced Orange County trust attorney. Fortunately, the knowledgeable professionals at the Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC, can help. Call our office today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation. Our free guide, The Ten Things You Must Know Before Creating (or Amending) Your Will or Trust, offers additional information.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm